The deal is rigged in favor of Amazon because its specifications are such that only Amazon can meet them. For example, one provision stipulates that bidders must already generate more than $2 billion a year in commercial cloud revenues, which knocks out most of Amazon's competitors.
Amazon has spent $67 million on lobbying since 2000, including more this year than Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo combined. Its Washington office employs more than 100 lobbyists, including 68 officials who came there from from government employment. Anne Rung, who served as the government's chief acquisition officer, helped pass the so-called "Amazon amendment", a provision buried in a defense authorization bill that establishes Amazon as the go-to portal for every online purchase the government makes—some $53 billion every year. It is no surprise that she now works for Amazon. -GEG
There's a new scandal quietly unfolding in Washington. It's far bigger than Housing Secretary Ben Carson buying a $31,000 dinette set for his office, or former EPA chief Scott Pruitt deploying an aide to hunt for a deal on a used mattress.